HH Sheikh Mohammed announces $3.87B solar power project

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The CSP project will be implemented by Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (Dewa).

Dubai Police has been boosting the use of technology in its services in line with the emirate's smart city strategy.

Yesterday however Dewa and Dubai went one better; the utility said that the new CSP plant, representing the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park, would instead have a capacity of 700MW, by far the largest of its kind in the world, with power being delivered at the even cheaper price of 7.3 cents per kWh. "We are proud that by demonstrating their capabilities, our local talent have proved that they are ready to assume responsibility", he added.

The contract was awarded to a consortium comprising of Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power and China's Shanghai Electric.

"Awarding this strategic project supports the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to promote sustainability, and make Dubai a global centre for clean energy and a green economy", said Saeed Al Tayer, the managing director and chief executive of Dewa.

The project will have the world's tallest solar tower, measuring 260 metres. The power purchase agreement and the financial close of the deal are due to be finished shortly. The project will be commissioned in stages, starting from Q4 of 2020.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the largest single-site solar park in the world, based on the IPP model.

It will generate 1,000MW by 2020 and 5,000MW by 2030, according to the report.

The UAE has pioneered the use of the technology, beginning in 2013 with Abu Dhabi's 100MW Shams 1 solar plant, the region's first utility scale solar project in the Middle East. Work is also now underway on a 150MW CSP plant in Morocco, while a proposed scheme in Tunisia promising to leverage the technology to export gigawatts of power to Europe via undersea cables.

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